Wednesday, 31 March 2021

Questions (1168, 1169)

Thomas Pringle

Question:

1168. Deputy Thomas Pringle asked the Minister for Health the way in which a dossier of children with autism was permitted having regard to data protection considerations; if the Data Protection Commissioner was contacted regarding the dossiers; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17412/21]

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Thomas Pringle

Question:

1169. Deputy Thomas Pringle asked the Minister for Health the regulations or provisions which allowed his Department and other Departments to collate dossiers on children with autism; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17413/21]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 1168 and 1169 together.

I take the allegations made in recent media reports extremely seriously. A team has been set up to establish the facts in respect of specific allegations made in the RTÉ Prime Time programme on 25th March 2021. The Department has engaged with the Data Protection Commissioner.

The allegations which were the subject of the RTÉ Prime Time programme on March 25th were brought to the Department's attention last year. The Department took the matters raised very seriously and commissioned an independent, expert review by an external Senior Counsel. This review was completed in November 2020. Subject to clarification of legal matters, I hope this review may be published at the earliest possible opportunity.